The letter of Paul to Timothy was very instructional. Pastoring a church at a young age or fulfilling ministry at a young age comes with a lot of exuberances that can only be curtailed by fathers and mentors. Hence instructions are key. It took Mordecai to remind Esther that her purpose in the palace was not to be a slay queen but to save her people from destruction, hence the role of fathers and mentors cannot be overemphasised.
One of these beautiful instructions is found in 1Timothy 4:13-14: “Till I come, give attention to READING, TO EXHORTATION, TO DOCTRINE.
DO NOT NEGLECT THE GIFT THAT IS IN YOU, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.”
Ministry is art and science. I’d call these two verses the science of ministry, that is, Word and Spirit. The growth of every believer is hinged on these two things and the success of a minister is dependent on how well he is given to these two things.
1. “Pay attention to READING”. A minister ought to be given to the word. Read the word, study, meditate. While Paul was writing this, there were no epistles yet, the gospels had probably not been compiled yet, he only had the old testament. He reminded him again in 2Timothy 2:15, “Study to show yourself approved unto God. A workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
A minister who does not read and study God’s word will be ashamed. He will wrongly divide the word. If scriptures can be rightly divided, they can also be wrongly divided.
Dear minister, pay attention to the reading and studying of God’s word. Greek and Hebrew meanings are not for show, they are tools to help in the studying God’s word.
A minister must be apt to teach. The aptness comes from your wealth of knowledge and experience with the word. The gift of utterance stands on the depth of knowledge. When you are given to the Word, you will be able to exhort and teach.
2. “Do not neglect the GIFT that is in you…given by PROPHECY and THE LAYING OF HANDS”
Timothy did not get that special gift of ministry by fasting but by prophecies (given by the elders) and impartation through them. A generation that exalts Greek words and despises impartation will not last.
There are depths you will get to through reading, however, there are also depths you will get to via impartation.
The gift is given by God through men but it is to be exercised and stirred by YOU! “NEGLECT NOT THE GIFT IN YOU!” It will help in dispensing the responsibilities that come with your ministry. It is God’s responsibility to give you a gift but it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to exercise it.
The gift can become dormant if not exercised, hence Paul called Timothy to the remembrance of that gift.
Pause and reflect,
What is your attitude to impartation?
What are the gifts you have received through impartation?
Several hands have been laid on you. When was the last time you exercised the gift? When was the last time you stirred it up?
Remember, you need the Word and supply of the Spirit to fulfill the responsibilities of your ministry.
My prayer is that you become all that God has called you to be in Jesus name. Amen.